Archive for January, 2012

30
Jan
12

The Meat Show

"If You're Happy and You Know It, Clamp Your Hams", by Robert Villamagna

 

Nutting Gallery at West Liberty State College is showing the annual Art Faculty Exhibition, “The Meat Show”, January 18 through February 19, 2012.. Art faculty members participating in this years exhibition are Brian Fencl, James Haizlett, Moonjung Kang, Paul Padgett, Nancy Tirone, Lambros Tsuhlares, Robert Villamagna, and Neal Warren.

Each year the Art Faculty Exhibition features a theme and this year the art faculty voted to follow the theme of “meat”. In this exhibition we are primarily focusing on meat as the edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals. For the most part, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues. The result can be anything from images of meat to images of the Burger King and the musician, Meatloaf, or visual statements about the consumption of meat and vegetarianism.

The consumption of meat has various traditions and rituals associated with it in different cultures, which one may find among these works. The ethical issues regarding the consumption of meat, as well as objections to the act of killing animals, is also touched upon in this exhibition. However, the exhibition is not a “carnivores vs. vegetarians” debate, but rather eight artists exploring the theme of meat, each in his or her own way. The works in the Meat Show cover a wide range of media including drawing, painting, mixed media, digital, construction, photography, and video.

Having a new theme for the exhibition each year does a number of things: it brings a freshness to the annual exhibition, it challenges the members of the art faculty, and it shows students how a diverse group of artists each approach a single problem or idea, each in their own unique way and in a variety of media.

Here is a slide show of the opening and some of the works in the exhibition.

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14
Jan
12

OH+5 exhibition 2012

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  The OH+5 Borders Biennial Exhibition is currently at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, Ohio. I have two works in the show, but one of the pieces arrived broken. Yesterday Chris and I drove to Athens to see if the piece could be repaired. We got the “art surgery” completed in just under three hours and the piece, Bad Air Delivery, was on display two hours before the opening.

The winter weather slowed us down on the drive to Athens, and because we were concerned about conditions on the return trip, we left prior to the evening opening. We did get to see the exhibition, thanks to Andrea Lewis and staff, and the show looks great. I feel honored to be sharing space with these talented artists. Here are a few photos of the exhibition:

 

07
Jan
12

millrat therapy

This past week, while going through a box of old papers, I ran across a folder containing some poetry I had written in 1991. I remember this having been a stressful period, and I had been reading a book about writing poetry as a form of therapy. The book encouraged the reader not to judge what he or she might write, and not to worry about the quality of the end results. This was to be about process rather than product.

I recall working on several pieces and eventually typing up nine of the poems. I also created an accompanying collage or a drawing on each of the nine pages. I photocopied about fifteen sets, which I titled “Millrat Therapy“, and sent them to friends and family. I guess that was part of my “therapy”.  (It appears that I removed the illustration I did for Art in the Second Grade, which I believe I later re-used in a piece of artwork.) So after sleeping in a blue folder for twenty years, here are a few of the batch. If you click on each image, it should become larger for easier reading. Thanks for your interest.

06
Jan
12

How to make a piece of meat

Each January, West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery is the venue for the annual Art Faculty Exhibition. And each year for the past twelve years the exhibition has a theme. This year the theme is MEAT. In my current blog entry I will show how one piece from my meat series came about. In the next few weeks I will post photos of the installed exhibition.

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06
Jan
12

‘Hoarders’ called, they want to see my studio!

Recently, Crafthaus, an online community of craft artists, did a feature on artists studios. Wow! I was flabbergasted! All these wonderful spaces….CONTROLLED spaces….with room to actually WORK! But then this past week, Seattle artist Jenny Fillius put a photo of her studio on Facebook. I looked at that photo and wondered to myself, “How does she work in there?” This thought was followed by some nervous laughter, since my own studio is some kind of semi-organized chaos. Now this was real….and very close to home!

A year ago, a couple from Cincinnati purchased a large piece of my work from the Wheeling Artisan Center. A few weeks after acquiring the piece, the couple called to tell me they were coming back to Wheeling and asked if they could meet me. We arranged a time and they stopped by the house. We sat in the living room and they went on about how they were enjoying their recent purchase. Then I heard he words that strike fear into artists whose work spaces are too small and too full: “May we see your studio?” I told them I don’t normally take anyone down there (it is located behind our house in a converted garage), and that it was really a mess. The couple promised to pay no attention to how messy it was, “We just want to see where you make your art!” This went on for several more minutes until finally I gave in.

As we walked to the studio, I continued to warn them that it was quite a mess. They assured me not to worry. As we entered the studio, the couple stopped and became quiet. Suddenly, one of them said, “How do you WORK in here?”

I ask myself that very question at times. How DO I work in here? Years ago my studio space was a spare bedroom with a table, paper, pencils, paint, and brushes. That was before I stared working in assemblage and tin. What a difference.

So here, for your enjoyment, are a few pictures I took this week of my studio. Do I wish it was less cluttered? Less chaotic? Easier to work in? Yes! Yes! Yes! Do I wish it was a bit larger? Another  YES! But here it is, as is! Hopefully a spring cleaning can be worked into the schedule soon, along with some much needed “materials inventory control”.